The opposition UNITED PARTY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (UPND) and the NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC CONGRESS (NDC) has threatened to pull out of the ongoing volatile Chilubi parliamentary by-election should the Electoral Commission of Zambia, ECZ failed to take charge and bring normalcy to the campaigns within the next three days.
Speaking at a joint UPND/NDC press briefing this morning, UPND chairman for elections and NDC Spokesperson Saboi Imboela said the two parties see no reason why they should continue participating in an election characterised by violence and electoral malpractices being perpetuated by the PF who are aided by some intimidated members of the Zambia Police service.
Mr. Nkombo said it was unfortunate that the timid ECZ and it’s officials has continued to turn a blind eye to the happenings in Chilubi and the two political parties see no justifiable reasons why they should continue exposing the people of Chilubi to untold acts of violence over an election hence taking such a drastic position unless the elections body proves it’s worth and stamp it’s authority in Chilubi.
“We will later in the day (today), be presenting a formal letter of intent to withdraw from the election in Chilubi. We also wish to call upon the ECZ to get out of their air conditioned offices and go to Chilubi so that they can see for themselves that there is no election there, but war! There is no election in Chilubi, there is only war there. This is why we will be lodging a formal complaint to the ECZ to take charge of the election. If they don’t withdraw as they are mandated to be the ones to run elections in this country and allow the PF and Police to run the election, we will withdraw because we value life more than an election,” said Nkombo.
And NDC Spokesperson Saboi Imboela who echoed Mr. Nkombo’s statement said it was disappointing to note that the PF through the water authorities were searching private speed boats for any goods and people suspected to belong to the opposition resulting into boat owners shunning doing business with the opposition for fear of being charged penalty fees as she described the level of corruption by the PF as unprecedented.
Ms.Imboela said both the NDC and UPND are very disappointed with the lack of capacity by the ECZ to manage elections in the country and advised ECZ Chief Elections officer Patrick Nshindano to step down from his position as it has proven too big for him.
“The Disaster Management and Mitigation unit (DMMU) has descended in Chilubi openly distributing Mealie-Meal to the people a feat that even the ECZ agrees that it amounts to electoral malpractice. Patrick did inform the meeting yesterday that the commission has written to the DMMU advising it against engaging in such activities but there has been no change. Why should the DMMU be a unit for electioneering under the Patriotic Front and the ECZ is quiet. The PF has lost the sense of shame for doing wrong things. We urge the ECZ to get back to its original mandate of providing credible elections. We however know that the commission does not have the capacity as it is too scared and intimidated by the PF. Elections in Zambia have now become part of the 1000 ways to die. We as the opposition in Chilubi are saying no to that. Three days is all that ECZ has to bring things to normalcy or we pull out than subjecting people to unwanted deaths”, she said.
The two officials said the failure by the ECZ to handle the Chilubi election will be a reflection of how ready the commission is to manage the 2021 General Elections.
Watch Video UPND & NDC to Pull out of Chilubi By-Election
UPND MEDIA TEAM